This DVD presents a sophisticated staging of Donizetti’s wittiest opera, Don Pasquale. This production was performed at the world famous Scala in Milan. It was directed by Stefano Vizioli, who was praised for stripping the piece of any clichés acquired over a century-and-a-half of performing tradition, and making the characters truly live and breathe. The approach emphasised the unaffected brightness and gaiety of the opera, especially as the director was brilliantly supported by a pre-eminent international cast of singer-actors.
From the uproarious orchestral guffaw that opens the piece onwards, Riccardo Muti’s reading reveals a flexibility and poise that matches the overall intention to take the opera’s humour seriously. In a recent interview, Muti emphasised the vein of melancholy that runs through Don Pasquale, and stressed how much the libretto contributes to the perfection of the opera as a whole, how the composer manages to bend the music to the text, and bring out the deep meaning of every word. This Scala production embodied his conviction, in a performance marked by ‘absolute clarity of diction, the right emphasis for every word’ as the press hailed.
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1
Picture Format: 4:3
DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC
Subtitle Languages: IT, GB, DE, FR, ES
Running Time: 130 mins
“a scintillating performance...in which the La Scala Orchestra plays as if wound up to its highest pitch of tension, every tutti razor-sharp, every wind solo bubbling with energy. Recorded in 1994, this production caught Muti's reign at the height of his power and he presides over the performance with imperial authority.”
“This is a classic account of Donizetti's adorable opera, with superb conducting by Riccardo Muti, and a virtually flawless cast; and it's ravishing to look at too.”
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